Taking away the dummy/pacifier?


Registered User
I have two girls - one is six months, the other is 28 months. Both of them use the dummy to sleep. They ONLY have it in the bedroom and it gets taken off them as soon as they get up. With my oldest, I was thinking "She'll give it up when she's ready" but she's very attached to it so I'm wondering if maybe she needs a little push.

I know that there are a couple of options for her:
a) take it away cold turkey. Maybe a little "heartless" but she'll get over it within a week most likely.
b) some people cut the teats back so that the child rejects it themself - or put a bit of that "don't bite your nails" cream on it that tastes awful, etc... try to motivate the kid to reject the dummy by making it less appealing
c) continue to wait, knowing that she's not likely to go to college with her dummy.

I was wondering what your experiences/thoughts are on the above strategies?

Also, I've been thinking about my six month old and wondering if it would be easier to take hers away now too. I don't think that at six months, there's the same psychological attachment to it. Also if I was actively taking it away from my 28 month old, maybe it would help her if the baby didn't have a dummy too. So I was also wondering about any experiences taking a dummy away earlier too...

One idea that I had, in the next couple of months, we're planning to go back to Australia for a month or so. I was thinking of maybe just not taking any dummies for either of them (or taking them just for emergencies). I know that the change of scenery messes with their sleep as it is, so maybe being out of routine will be a benefit if we were doing cold-turkey. Plus we'll have the grandparents there to help out too ;)

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! :)
When I fly back to Singapore my bub is close to 3 months. She was sleeping when the flight almost take off. And i thought, thus is great. However, when half way, she woke up and I think due to her sudden realization of ear pressure discomfort she started crying fiercely. At this time it was too late to give her bottle or dummy. She refused both. So she cried and she cried for more than half hour till she is so tired that she knocked out. Not fun. Then at landing history repeats itself as it is just a 3.5 hours flight.

I don't know how your six month will handle it but I think for a mid long flight she really need her dummy to comfort her.

Before, during and after take off there's a good 40 mins or so you're bound to your seat. If she doesn't take her bottle or if it's not ready then she still have dummy to comfort her?
Actually my baby has a cleft palate and doesn't really "suck" anyway - she needs a special teat to feed with, and with the dummy in her mouth, she more just plays around with it rather than sucks on it. So I don't think that for her, feeding/sucking on the dummy would relieve any pressure in her ears anyway... And worse case scenario, there's always fingers right? ;)
I won't help about the dummy, as my 2 kids never had any (I eventually tried and they were just not interested), but about the flight and ear pressure, I just give the older one some water every 5 mn, and I bf the second one. As you don't bf the second one, could she have a little bit of water in a bottle instead of the milk ?
Also I just have a question... why do you want them to stop the dummy ?

I know that in some culture it's not very well seen when a toddler is going around with a dummy or a bottle, but my son still has a bottle of milk 2or 3 times a day, he loves it, it's a quiet moment for him, and I don't bother at all...
I've heard that around 18 months is when children's oral fixation need begins to diminish and that's the best time to stop. That's when the daycare in the states weened my daughter off the pacifier both daytime and naps. Unfortunately, I didn't ween her off at home and as she got older she started to figure out that they were missing (at home) and started asking for them. Makes it a bit more difficult to ween off when that starts :( Good luck.
I've also heard it's best to stop around two years old - so I was somewhat "aiming" for that. My two year old doesn't take a bottle (never did) so at least that's a plus. I'm still not sure whether to just wait it out (at least she only has it in bed) or whether to give her a push one way or another... *shrugs*

And with the baby, I was thinking maybe it's easier at six months than two years so might as well get them both over and done with at the same time?
Nic, H stopped when he was 2ish. We took all the dummies away when he was at nursery. Left a letter on his bed from the "garbage lady" apologising for accidentally tossing the dummies out when she was clearing the rubbish. "She" said that to make up for it, she's left him a little lion (to match all his others ... those Nici ones, he has them in several sizes) to make him feel better at night instead. So that night, he went to bed with ALL his lions in different sizes. That was it. Dummy days ended.
Our son got pretty obsessed with his pacifier when he was about 2 1/2-years-old to where he wanted to have several of them at the same time (I think he was specific about the number--like he needed at least three at one time to be satisified!) It got to be too much and one day in the heat of the moment when he was carrying on about them, I grabbed them from him and put them on top of the refrigerator.

We were leaving the house for the day. So, he cried and carried on about it for a few minutes but when we were out of the house it wasn't a big deal. He would then ask for them and we would just say, "Sorry, they're in the 'lapsap.'" He would suggest, "You buy some more?" We told him, "Sorry, no more." He actually didn't cry but looked a bit disappointed.

He kept asking about them for a few weeks and then after awhile he started playing with pretend (invisible) pacifiers which he would offer to mama and dadda as well as his stuffed animals and one for himself. It became a game. After that phase he just forgot completely about them.

It's been about six months now and he hasn't asked about a pacifier after the first month of not having one. For us, it was pointless to drag out the process or make it more lengthy than it needed to be--I'm glad that we just spontaneously forced him to give them up, dealt with the "heartache", he grieved the loss of his pacifiers (we did offer him a stuffed animal to sleep with any time he asked for one at night) and now everything is good. We had contemplated weaning him off of them but in retrospect, I think that would have been more traumatic for him.

With a baby under the age of 9-10 months (well, our son was walking at about 8 months, so I felt that at that point he started to enter into toddlerhood more) I would say pacifiers aren't a big deal. If you think your baby can cope without one and that she just kind of sees it as another toy, it might be fine to take it away. But, if it actually serves a soothing purpose when she's upset then I wouldn't take it away at this point. For the older child, she'll just be learning that life isn't fair and that she's a big girl now and that pacifiers are for babies--so she can be proud of the fact that she is a big girl and doesn't need a pacifier. For us, our son loves to talk about how grown up he is getting--how much taller he is than before and all the things he can do so he would probably take great pride in anything that indicates he's a big boy and not a baby anymore.